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views on naim amps

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by buns, Jan 26, 2002.

  1. buns

    buns
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    i tried posting earlier.....but just as i finished, the whole affair crashed and i lost it! here goes again!

    I have always aspired towards naim amps....but they are slightly beyond my budget. However, it has been suggested to me that second hand is a very reasonable route to take. For under a thousand pounds, i can get a nac 32/42 and nap140 to do fronts and stereo duties with celestion A1's, then 2 nap 90 to power the paradigm center and mission 77ds rears (which would become another pair of celestion A1's if the 90 could hack it) £1000 would be sufficient to get terminated naim cables where needed as well.

    The whole lot would be bolted onto a yamaha A5 until funds allowed further expenditure. So......the cost would be similar to the cost of the rotel 5 channel jobby.....i assume the amplification of these old naims is still considerably higher quality than that within the rotel....plus the advantages of having the whole shebang in separate boxes. Am i correct?

    and just as an out of interest.....what processor might i use when i could afford.....given that the AV2 will be considerably beyond me.......at £1000 is the rotel processor as good as it gets?

    thanks

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  2. ReTrO

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    One thing Naim amps have is plenty of current, and they don't sound bad either. I'm not familiar with the 90, but the 140 is a good little amp (half width Naim box). Certainly one thing you'll get over the Rotel is a much better stereo performance.

    One thing you can't do with Naim amps is bi-wire though, it sends them haywire. Bi-amping is no problem though.

    The AV2 processor is to be £2,200, when it arrives (in the next few weeks).
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    does bi amping make a huge difference? i have actually never been much of a fan of biwiring.....so thats not much of a hassle!

    the 90's are an old model which i actually havent heard but im told they are still a very good buy for £200, especially if you like the naim sound which i really do!

    Presumably you cant suggest anything better in the range of £500 for stereo performance??

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  4. ReTrO

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    My favourite Naim amp is the 150, which is £750ish. This would take a big chunk of your budget and you would still need a Naim pre-amp to acheive a good sound.

    Bi-amping makes a huge difference, you get a much more clear treble and better controlled bass.

    Where are you getting your Naim bits from? If they are old they would probably benefit from a servicxe at Naim, which is between £100-300 per item usually.
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    so is a 150 better than 2 140's????

    I would be getting the bits and pieces from lyric hifi in belfast.....not that they realise it just yet! It will probably take them a while to get 2nd hand bits and bobs of what i want anyways.....and it will be a month or 2 before i can fork out aswell.

    I'm back at uni this week and they happen to be right there....so i shall pop in and ask about the servicing......it does seem a bit daft to pay 200-600 servicing on the pre power stereo combo that was first suggested to me at £250 though! I will ask though.

    Im assuming since you havent put up any downers, that this is not a bad idea for the money?

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  6. GaryG

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    Richard

    What do Naim do when they service an amplifier? £100-300 is lot of money. Given that Naim amps are solid-state, the only thing that I can think of that would need replacement is the electrolytic capacitors, surely the amps in question are not so old that the caps need replacing yet?
     
  7. ReTrO

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    Just lost my first reply so here goes again.

    buns: I'd still go for the amps, check the serial no.s with Naim though to see how old they are and where a service is recommended for them.

    GaryG: A Naim service basically involves stripping down the component and replacing any parts that need replacing, whether they be caps, or parts of the casing etc. The idea being they go to Naim old and come back as new. The cost in high because of the labour I'd guess, though it would be a little cheaper going direct and not through a dealer, but that is abvious.

    Caps can leak even if they are not used much if they are quite old. I'd define old as 8-10 years depending a little on usage.
     
  8. buns

    buns
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    thanks Richard.....i'll see lyric sometime this week and give tell all when i know something!

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  9. gringottsdirect

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    buns, years ago I used Naim NAC72/NAP140 with EPOS ES11s connected by NACA5 cable. I added a Mordaunt-Short Decoder One processor, Mordaunt-Short CS1 centre and rears for Dolby Pro-Logic Surround.
    Whilst at first delighted, I realised level matching was not easy, let alone timbre matching and such like.
    Looking at your intended set up, I would buy a Denon 3802 or similar, depending on whether music or movies are priority.
    The Denon is pretty good with both, as everyone agrees, only you can decide after listening.
     
  10. buns

    buns
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    Cinema is not my priority.....i am all but decided that all in ones are in the past! I heard a 3801......it was totally incapable of driving one set of A1's.....the buggers dip to 2 ohm frequently and it just shut the dennon down......fine the 3802 is an improvement, but it will never get the best out of £1000 speakers, let alone two pairs of them!

    Using the speakers I am, i know i need separate power amps for each channel, its really just not an option.

    I will talk to my local dealer and get there ideas before i say more!

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  11. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    Garry, You are correct there's not much in there to service. However, big capped devices like the poweramps and the power supplies do sound significantly better if you replace the caps every 7-10 years. This is true of most hi-fi amps though. It would seem they capacitors loose their efficiency in this period of time.

    Only other thing to do with the pre-amps is to give them a clean on all the pots and switches.

    It's also possible to get transistors and transformers etc change din old 250's, 160'S but costs go up for that. We do the capping bit oursleves in house...saves some time and expense.

    Gordon
    an ex Naim dealer
     
  12. Epoman

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    Buns: I used an 82/Hicapx2/250/SBL combo a few years ago connected directly to my TV/VCR and can say that the sound was far far superior to my present AV orientated setup of Denon 3802/Epos ES11's ( Gringottsdirect - glad to see I'm not the only one:D ). Like you Buns I get the feeling the Denon runs out of steam running my 3 (6 ohm) ES11's. Don't know what will happen when I connect 2 more for rears!

    Retro/Gordon: I want to connect a Nap250 to my Denon to run the front ES11's. Is this as easy as connecting a 4 pin din to 2 phono adapter to the front pre-outs on the Denon (as advised by one non-naim dealer)? If so, where can I source an adapter? I know that Chord will make up a lead, but £50 is a bit much considering that this will only be a temorary arrangement.

    Rgds
    Imran
     
  13. GaryG

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    No chance they'd change the caps for Black Gates at that price I suppose!;)
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The 250 deosn't have a 4 pin din input. It's an XLR socket last time I looked. Any dealer should be able to make you a 2 phono to 3 pin xlr plug.

    Gordon
     
  15. kev_c

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    One nice feature of the Naim NAC 112 preamp is a unity gain AV input. You connect up the front speaker pre outs from your av amp to this input in the Naim Preamp which then bypasses the pre amps volume control.
    You can then control the movie volume from your AV amp only and music from the 112 only.
    The 112 is about £625 so probably is above your budget.
    I like this feature anyway!
     
  16. ReTrO

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    The 112 was designed very well with the AV2 in mind. The 552 will have this feature also, as does the Nait 5.
     
  17. Epoman

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    Thanks Gordon. You are quite right about the XLR. I was looking at the other end of the Naim cable - the end that goes to the pre amp is 4 pin din. I've now had a dealer make up a suitable replacement cable and this works just fine.

    Rgds
    Imran
     

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